Tennessee Stands CEO Gary Humble on State Budget: ‘We Make More Money, We Spend More Money’


Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Gary Humble of Tennessee Stands to the newsmaker line to weigh in on the state budget proposal and his group’s mission for 2022.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now, the founder and CEO of Tennessee Stands, Gary Humble on the web at tennesseestands.org. Good morning, Gary.

Humble: Good morning to you. How are you fellas doing this morning?

Leahy: We are doing great, I guess. It seems to me that probably one of the issues most at the forefront of your mind right now is the budget proposed by Governor Bill Lee, which increases the amount spent by the state from, $41 billion with a B last year to a proposed $52 billion this year.

That’s $11 billion. As a former minority leader of the United States Senate, Everett Dirksen, once said, a billion here, a billion there. Sooner or later, it adds up to real money. Your thoughts on that, Gary Humble?

Humble: The biggest thing to me there is, look, the administration has been clear that we’ve been way outperforming our revenue projections month by month.

And I believe in just December alone, that was half-billion dollars that we had exceeded tax revenue projections. It seems like this is sort of a symptom of the Left, but I guess it’s a symptom of the Right, too. We make more money, we spend more money.

Leahy: Exactly.

Humble: No one’s talking about decreasing taxes like, hey, maybe we have enough money to run the government. Maybe we should lower the tax burden.

No, spend more money. Let’s throw more money and more money at education, even though everything we do currently continues to fail.

Let’s shove a billion dollars over to Ford and invite them to the party. I don’t understand the mentality of money continuing to fly out of the window. But it looks like we have that same disease here in Tennessee.

Leahy: Let me ask you a question, and if you can, for some of our listeners who may not be familiar with your group, Tennessee Stands on the web at tennesseestands.org. Could you tell our listeners about your group, how many people are part of it, what your mission is and what you’ve accomplished?

Humble: We’ve got well over 20,000 active supporters across the state from Memphis all the way up to Johnson City. We have Stand in the State doing events, talking about constitutional liberties, holding our elected officials accountable to the authority only, which we’ve given them per the Constitution.

We believe in limited government, but we believe in proper government. Government should function at the will of the people. And we’ve seemingly lost that not just in America, but here in Tennessee as well. So we’re really trying to empower people to this idea once again of self-governance and get people involved in the public square.

So that’s really the mission. And, of course, we’ve been very concerned over the mandates that we experienced beginning in 2020. I’ve been the tip of the spear on the site for medical freedom and against the mandates, especially with employers and in our schools, and very concerned about election integrity as well.

We had a great election integrity symposium a couple of weeks ago and are looking to see how we can impact that discussion here in the state of Tennessee.

Leahy: What is your number-one priority for 2022 with Tennessee Stands?

Humble: Oh, gosh. There are several. Legislatively, I would have to say we’re still on the front to give people a sense of security in terms of going to work and not feeling like they have to be poked and prodded on a daily basis to get gainful employment here in our state. And so we are running SB 2151.

And that is the only bill that I know of this session that is similar to the Montana Bill. It would make discrimination on the basis of proof of vaccination for any disease, not just COVID-19, discriminatory here in the state of Tennessee.

What a lot of people don’t know is, we’ve been talking about the Supreme Court decisions with OSHA CMS and we did get some things done with Title 14 last year in special session. But the issue is that currently, employers can only not discriminate on vaccination status for COVID-19.

Today in Tennessee, your employer can require you to have a flu shot or be fired. They can require you to have a shot for chickenpox or be fired. They can require a whole host of things. So we’re looking to continue that conversation.

Leahy: Who’s carrying that bill, Gary? And what’s the likelihood that that will be passed?

Humble: That’s going to be Representative Terry Lynn Weaver and Senator Joey Hensley. The likelihood it is going to be passed. We’re right at the beginning of session and I always like to be optimistic. (Chuckles)

I think if we saw anything last year, we saw a special session that nobody wanted to happen, that I believe sincerely that the people made happen. The governor didn’t want it. He was vocal about it. Speaker McNally didn’t want it. Speaker Cameron Sexton finally came around, I think, and began to fight.

Leahy: In the end, both Lieutenant Governor McNally and Speaker Sexton had to say yes for that special session.

Humble: That’s right.

Leahy: And they did.

Humble: After the people finally spoke up and put the pressure on.

Leahy: Let me ask you this, because you’ve been highly critical of Governor Bill Lee, have you ever met with Governor Bill Lee? And what was that conversation like?

Humble: I have never met with the governor and I heard he doesn’t like me very much, so there’s that.

Leahy: Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. You’re such a fine and gallant gentleman. I’m sure he would enjoy a conversation with you.

Humble: I believe we’d have a fine conversation.

Leahy: (Chuckles) Alright. Gary Humble, thanks so much for joining us today. We really appreciate it.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.


















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